Back in 1984 the desire to connect across campus gave birth to the first multi-protocol router, and to Cisco.  Much has changed since then, but one thing remains constant.  No, I’m not talking about my love of the New York Yankees – I’m talking about Cisco’s focus on the customer.

Putting customer first is what fuels our commitment to storage networking and continuous innovation when it comes to Cisco MDS solutions.  In fact, just last week we announced technology innovations for next-generation storage networking, including giving customers 32Gb fibre channel performance across a unified MDS storage director and UCS, among other things.

One has to wonder if other companies share that commitment.  Take Brocade Communications Systems, for instance…  When Broadcom announced its intent to acquire Brocade back in November, it vowed to “retain Brocade’s Fibre Channel SAN Switching business and divest Brocade’s IP Networking business”.  So far, that’s exactly what’s happening (most recent piece of business picked up by Extreme Networks).  Translation: we’re keeping the cash cow and letting go of the rest.

But with fibre channel SAN switching not being Broadcom’s core competency, what incentive does it have to innovate and invest in a robust roadmap?  And Brocade customers have to ask themselves, will their support be as good tomorrow as it is today?

Cisco’s answer is an unequivocal yes.  We are delivering cutting edge technology today to keep customers’ mission-critical data running, as we have for the last 15 years since Cisco’s Data Center strategy began.  Cisco storage networking solutions can help the network adapt to new storage trends such as flash, NVMe, and converged infrastructure workloads.  We continue to invest in our future storage networking solutions and provide ways to help customers manage their networks seamlessly.

Every week my team has many conversations with customers around the advantages of a Cisco Data Center solution.  Cisco MDS provides the best investment protection in the industry with our existing director able to handle 32Gb and beyond without a fork lift upgrade.  Our products provide multi-protocol functionality to enable networks to seamlessly transition to new technologies.  We are investing heavily in DCNM, our single pane of management, providing seamless management of SAN & LAN workloads, delivering operational efficiencies and additional analytics to customers to ensure their network is working at its best.

Cisco’s channel relationships are another reason to go with Cisco.  After all, making it easier for customers to stand up, run and upgrade their networks is part of our unrelenting customer focus.  Cisco also offers OpenPay, a financing structure  from Cisco Capital that takes a metered approach to monitoring usage of converged infrastructure, storage, routing and switching solutions.

So here at Cisco, we have our customers’ backs – today, and into the future.

Brocade customers – now that you’re on your own, we can have yours too.


Frank Palumbo

Senior Vice President

Global Data Center Sales